Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Novel Experience (NaNoWriMo November 22nd)

Carl the Fog comes in on big ol' army boots, not little cat feet.
Of all the distractions and interruptions to novel writing, the most pleasurable is an unexpected encounter leading to an animated conversation with engaging people. It happens often when I am reading or posting to social media at Chick-fil-A

In November, though, I try to fend off those overtures with my NaNoWriMo door hanger. I slide the knob opening over the tall vase at my table, where it lays at a readable angle below the fresh carnations. The Novelist At Work. Do Not Disturb. message is enough to stop most conversations. I can always turn it to the wall if when I want to talk.

But this morning, sitting with my spouse (who occupies the time at Chick-fil-A that I spend noveling with 3D printing or needlepoint), we were drawn into a wide-ranging debate that opened with mutual backgrounds in teachingHollie teaches pastry-making at the local JCand engineeringGinny studied civil engineering at San Luis Obispo, where two of her professors were Colorado School of Mines graduates.

We discussed families and marriage, memorable church services (Samoan Congregational here in Santa Rosa was a mutual favorite, because they dance), writing and teaching, and what a small world it is. Hollie shared that she and Ginny were heading from the restaurant to pack Christmas Shoe Boxes for the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child, a worthy charity. (Please link through to see what it's about.)

I gave the two ladies my elevator speech about Indigo and the Fateful Weather theme. Hollie's response was a huge surprise: "Like the fog in San Francisco." Okay, I hadn't heard of children disappearing in the Bay fog, like they do in Indigo, but perhaps I am just out of touch. "Oh, yeah, you know," she continued, "the fog has a name. It's Carl. Carl the Fog. Even has a Twitter account."

My spouse was adamant. "No, it should be 'Carla'. Fog is feminine, it comes in on little cat feet. Carl (or Karl) is okay for a hurricane or typhoon, for weather that stomps in wearing big ol' Army boots." But Hollie was right. The Bay fog has been personalized, and it is a male persona

My Fateful Weather has a name, too, but unlike the Bay fog, it is female. She is embodied as 'Moira', whose name was assigned long before I learned that the name means 'fate'. 'Moira' is just a face, though, a physical embodiment of something much darker, and far more ancient. 

The conversation this morning now has me wondering if there are subconscious reasons why the nemesis of Indigo was conceived as female, hunter, child-stealer, and storm-generator—and evilfrom the very first novel. Am I being subliminally anti-feminine?

My answer is: I don't know for sure. I'm learning about these things the same way you are, by reading what I've written.

Time to write some more...

Total: 41,867 words.